Standard Chartered Bank
Parental support permeates every facet of our lives especially on financial matters.
The fortunate of us start off in life with the financial support of our parents which we get so accustomed to that we sometimes end up not so fortunate.
This dependency begins during school days with a harmless little sum of pocket money for our daily needs such as food.
As we get older, we inevitably start wanting things. If we always rely on our parents for what we want, we may hardly ever acquire the necessary skills needed for saving up, which is key to really achieving financial independence.
YOUR ONLY PROTECTION IS YOU
At a young age, our knights in shining armour who will sweep all our financial worries away are our parents.
As we get older, we may meet a man or a woman who we think will provide us with financial security. But such thoughts are idealistic. In the real world, you are your sole protection.
The only limits we have are those we place upon ourselves. When it comes to financial planning, as soon as we rely on another to pay off our bills and debts, we are limiting ourselves.
When we ask for help, we rely on it, and sooner or later, we get so accustomed to it that we’re geared to thinking help will come along. It becomes a bad habit that we can’t seem to shake off. And as we all know, human beings are creatures of habit.
But let’s not kid ourselves. This isn’t a utopia where our worries magically disappear.
When it comes to financial security, there are no knights in shining armour – they come and go, they leave, they die.
And worst of all, they get into financial quagmires themselves. Even the best fall down sometimes.
DON’T PANIC, YOU CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE
Make it a point to always pay yourself first. No matter how much spare change we have, we should always discipline ourselves and save a little of whatever money that comes our way. We might need that extra cash for a rainy day!
It’s always good practice to live like a university student even after you’ve landed your first job. Many of us who have experienced it will agree that university is probably the most challenging turning points in our lifetime. It’s a time where we feel like we’re thrown in the woods without a compass to navigate out. There is so much to keep track of – tuition fees, rental bills, electricity bills, Internet bills, water bills, laundry, groceries, nights out at the movies, and the list goes on. All this, while studying for your first degree!
We all make mistakes during our university years, but as the saying goes, practice makes perfect. So if we keep up this practice of living like a university student long enough, we would get better at budgeting and managing our financial expenses, and inevitably make the right financial choices.
YOU ARE NEVER TOO BROKE TO SAVE UP
When we ask for advice on how to save up, the common response would usually be to eat out less, refrain from purchasing what you don’t need, make your own coffee or cut down on shopping. These are relatively easy to adhere to for those who are somewhat well off.
Some of us, however, are already cutting down on expenses in every imaginable way. But be careful, this isn’t an excuse for those of us with average incomes to tell ourselves that we can’t do anything about it. This isn’t an excuse to indulge in self-pity. If we keep telling ourselves that we’re merely victims of circumstance, we are admitting defeat.
This tunnelled darkness is merely a figment of our lack of positivity. There is light at the end of it, and that light is our “can do” attitude. Solutions are never easy; good solutions are even harder. But they are not impossible. If you really cannot cut down, make more money. Take up odd jobs: babysit, learn how to fix a leak, repair computers and cars. Acquire a new hobby that could potentially earn you some money like gardening. Sell your stuff online on eBay or hold a garage sale. Remember, one man’s junk is another man’s treasure. The best part of all is that in a small community like Brunei, word travels faster than you realise. And word-of-mouth is a powerful selling tool.
Once you make that extra money, don’t forget to save up. At the end of it all, you’ll forget you ever asked, “Where is my knight in shining armour?” because you don’t need one.